Corroded classics, vintage porcelain telephone insulators, engraved bridge plaques; there’s so much more to the newly completed Albany County Rail Trail than leafless trees. As we walked, we imaged the clamor of early explosives and rock drilling from the days when the D&H railroad was first constructed. Today, it’s a public, recreational highlight but reminders of the Industrial Age are everywhere.
George and I walked the first paved portion from the trailhead parking lot near the Port of Albany to a convenient store in Delmar. We admired seeing the front half of the tall chapel spire of the old, vacant Kenwood Covent building, once home to the Doane Stuart School. We enjoyed listening to the swells and sprays of the Normans Kill Creek waterfalls. We marveled at the lattice work under the busy I-87 and 9W highway bridges.
By the way, make note of the confluence that divides and flows around a small island – really cool!
Closer to Delmar, we caught glimpses of a telecommunications tower, and unlike hiking in the deep woods, we never lost cell phone reception. Social media updaters will like that. The FORT Facebook page will appreciate photos of your favorite parts of this trail.
Before curiosity sparks, note the many yellow posted signs on a particularly rural stretch of the trail. All it took was the inviting quack of three wood ducks to trick us into trespassing for shots of spring fauna. Oops, so sorry Mr. who-ever-you-are landowner.
Shortly after crossing a narrow bridge over Delaware Ave the pavement ends at Delmar’s Veterans Memorial Park. Recalling reconstruction, this phase of completion took what felt like… forever. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think I watched crews work their magic on this abandoned bridge for almost five years. Obviously, it was worth the effort.
Before reversing direction, treat your efforts to a large chocolate ice cream cone at nearby Stewarts (trail runs right behind it) and relax at a picnic table.
Rather bike or rollerblade it? Hey, no problem. It’s paved perfectly smooth and wide enough to share with walkers, joggers, even parents pushing strollers.